The Other Side of Addiction: What it’s Like to Live on Methadone
If there was ever an accurate depiction of “the monkey on your back” it’s living with opiate addiction. What starts out as a mild and mellow “ride” soon turns into a harrowing, day-to-day emotional struggle over time.
After so many months or years of opiate abuse, the brain and body reach a point where overcoming addiction requires an aggressive form of treatment such as methadone can provide. In effect, life on methadone enables recovering addicts to break free of opiate addiction and live a normal, healthy life.
Call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360 for information on methadone treatment program options.
Life Without Methadone: Opiate Addiction’s Aftereffects
Stopping opiate use may well be the easiest part of the recovery process compared to the aftereffects that opiate addiction leaves behind. According to Brain – A Journal of Neurology, chronic opiate abuse leaves the brain in a debilitated state in terms of its ability to regulate the body’s systems.
More often than not, people coming off long-term opiate addictions experience residual withdrawal effects that persist for months or even years into the recovery process. These effects include:
- Severe and persistent drug cravings
- Severe depression
- Ongoing fatigue
- Mental confusion
Under these conditions, the likelihood of maintaining abstinence for any length of time is slim.
Life With Methadone
As a treatment drug, methadone is specifically made to treat the damage left behind by chronic opiate abuse. In effect, methadone supports damaged brain functions and provides considerable relief in the process.
While drug cravings may “feel” physical, they actually originate in the brain’s thinking and emotion-based centers, according to the National Safety Council. These areas of the brain create the constant thoughts about getting “high” and the ongoing urges to use opiates.
Methadone interacts with the same areas of the brain as addictive opiates, and in turn help restore a normal chemical balance. As a result, life on methadone means you’ll experience little if any drug cravings.
Ongoing feelings of depression and anxiety only work to aggravate drug cravings and make it that much more difficult to abstain from drug use. Methadone’s ability to restore a normal chemical balance means the neurotransmitter chemicals involved in regulating emotions also return to normal.
These effects can go a long way towards helping you maintain continued abstinence on a long-term basis.
Feeling Normal Again
The feelings of fatigue commonly experienced in recovery coupled with not being able to get a good night’s sleep for days on end can all but destroy your ability to stay drug-free. In effect, the aftereffects of opiate addiction all work together, creating a vicious cycle of uncomfortable symptoms that make it all but impossible to stop abusing opiates.
Methadone’s therapeutic effects enable you to feel healthy and normal again, like you did before opiate addiction took hold.
Without methadone, the damage left behind by opiate abuse makes it difficult to think clearly, let alone concentrate on the task at hand. These conditions make it that much harder to carry out the affairs of everyday life, such as holding down a job or running a household.
Methadone’s effects enable a person to think clearly so he or she can fulfill daily responsibilities without considerable strain and effort.
Overall, life on methadone really feels like the other side of addiction in terms of the renewed sense of health and well-being experienced. If you’re considering methadone treatment and need help finding a treatment program, call our helpline at 800-891-9360 to speak with one of our addiction counselors.